Hello all! At some point in your blogging life you come to realize where your talent lies and mine as 83,000 views would dictate is finding the best buttery chardonnay on the market at a fair price.
Let’s face it, we chard-lovers love the butter, we crave the oak, and we do not care for citrus when searching for the perfect chard. It’s challenging to navigate the endless rows of would-be contenders for our well earned weekend enjoyment.
So tonight, look for Popcorn!
That’s what I said, y’all!
I adore a little salty sweet combo in anything edible, and this delivers in the wine category. At first glance I thought it would be a gimmicky no-go, but was impressed by the true quality, and Friday-night-worthiness of this yummy pick! It is buttery, a bit salty, but also oaky enough to satisfy. I found this must try wine at my favorite haunt Total Wine & More at my favorite price point under $13.00. So, sit down with your your favorite movie, or Netflix series this weekend, and don’t forget the Popcorn!
Thanks for reading! And keep drinking buttery chards!
In search of better than butter: butterscotch and bargains!
As promised, this is a follow-up post of buttery chardonnay’s that fit the flavor profile of the #butter and #oak wine lovers. Even better, all but one were under $15.00. Martin Ray blends oak, cream and fruit to make a winning combination for under $10.00. William Wright is a smooth blend of caramel and oak for under $7.00.
For the new buttery top ten, I discovered an even better flavor: butterscotch! In particular, the aptly named Butter 2014 at under $14.00, and Bread & Butter 2015 at $12.00 did not disappoint. Layer Cake 2014 at $11.00 which I expected to be a trendy boutique wine, was quite good.
Hahn 2014 from Monterey County for under $12.00 is pleasantly fruity with a nice balance of oak and butter. I picked up my new favorite, Hob Nob Wicked Limited Edition Chardonnay from California, on a special price promotion for under $10.00. This is by far the best flavor value of the bunch.
Finally, the Robert Mondavi Private Selection 2015 at $11.00, Chateau St. Michelle Indian Wells 2015 under $15.00, and Sonoma-Loeb 2015 at $20.00 were all exceptional. At Total Wine and More, I was told that the Sonoma-Loeb Reserve and Envoy are even more buttery, but they do not fit my budget or blog focus for the top ten.
Let me know what you think of these wines and I promise to post a new list soon! Happy sipping all!
This weekend my husband, Nick, and I uncorked a bottle of Mastroberdadino Historia 2000, one of the wines we purchased at the Radici Resort and Spa in Mirabella Eclano, when my family visited there in July of 2009. Trust me, it is not often that we have an opportunity to drink a sixteen year old bottle a wine, and one that predates both of our children, Nicholas and Katherine.
The taste: steeped in history, rich, bold, and earthy, took us back in time to what is poistively one of my family’s fondest memories of the three years we spent living in Italy: a weekend at the Radici Spa & Resort.
This Family owned and run Winery has origins dating back to 1878, and is now in very capable hands of Vintner Piero Mastroberardino. We met Piero when we visited the resort back in 2009. The family, staff, and estate were both welcoming and exquisite. The resort encompassed everything we grew to love about Italy: history, fabulous wine, amazing cuisine and people who are passionate about their Italian culture, and want to share the experience with the world.
Seven years later, we still reflect fondly on the wine, food and accommodations and our experience that weekend, where we relaxed and dined like movie stars. Tucked away in the hills of Italy’s Campagnia region, this little gem is well worth the trip!
My family and I were thankful to have experienced this amazing place. If you visit, please share your thoughts. Happy touring and tasting all! Thanks for reading!
Based on this news will chocolate and red wine lovers cease our habits now that these guilty pleasures will not necessarily add years to our lives?
There are still benefits that extend beyond the mere enjoyment wine and chocolate…like happiness.
The mood elevator Phenylethlamine a naturally occurring amine, best known as the “love drug” produced by our bodies when we fall in love is also found in chocolate. Some researchers say that if you crave chocolate or any other food, you may merely be deficient in one or more nutrients, vitamins or minerals like magnesium.
You could resolve this issue in the case of magnesium by eating seeds/nuts, green leafy vegetables or by taking a supplement. There is no need to turn to chocolate.
Do we drink red wine for its health benefits such as the presence of Polyphenols, U.S. National Library of Medicine as antioxidants? Or do we drink it because we like it and it makes us happy?
My family lived in Italy for three years. Over which time we spent many a weekend in the Chianti region, where the JAMA study was conducted.
Should we stop visiting wineries and frequenting chocolate festivals because these lovely tangibles have reverted to mere vices and are therefore unhealthy?
After three years of traveling throughout Italy, I can verify by my own experience, the inherent joy of the Italian people. What I cannot do is prove that red wine and chocolate are the reasons for this happiness. It is a good theory, and one that scientists may consider for their next study.
If you have ever dreamed of becoming an artist, it’s time to stop dreaming and start doing. Creating art is a wonderful hobby even if it never consumes your life, it can enhance your daily existence.
As a former account executive, turned stay-at-home mom, turned writer, I know all about second acts and third acts. Actually, I’m still juggling all three, but this is the female dilemma. We pick up new jobs but never put any down.
A woman with a gift for juggling:
As I often ‘struggle with the juggle’ and drop the pins more often than I care to admit, I am forever in awe of my girlfriends who make ‘doing it all’ look so effortless, like my dear friend, Lisa Deiranieh. Lisa, a native of Southern California often says “God put us on opposite sides of the country because he feared what would happen if we ever got together.” Well, God must have averted his eyes long enough for us to simultaneously end up in Naples, Italy, at least for a spell. We had some good times, struggling to speak Italian (only me!) and some amazing day trip adventures where we literally stuck a pin in the map and went off in search of what was there.
Heading home with heavy heart:
I caught Lisa in the process of packing out to leave Naples, but she was gracious enough to fit in a quick interview first. Lisa, a Senior Staff Sonographer at US Navy Hospital Naples, Italy and full-time wife and mother of two is also an artist. Three years ago, Lisa’s husband, Dave, gave her the gift of lifetime, painting lessons with “Gigi”, Luigi Wanvestraut, a well-known Neapolitan artist.
The lessons were only supposed to last a few weeks, but as we spoke, Lisa was fixing dinner and preparing to go paint at the studio, still under Gigi’s guidance. Over the past three years Lisa has painted almost a dozen paintings. Which is amazing considering each one takes between thirty and forty hours to create. She paints with oil, which requires a longer curing time and a process involving layers of paint often applied with a spatula. Planning out your design is necessary but the result is a three-dimensional work of art.
“I want to learn the physical properties of how to make something look real,” Lisa says. Although very different from her day job, Lisa’s background working with patients in the hospital and sonographic imagery may help her to see things differently and in way that she is able to translate beautifully onto the canvas.
“I think…how can I do this?” she says. Learning Gigi’s painting technique, Lisa studies how objects appear in space as circles or squares as well as the spaces around them. “It begins with a sketch and then you layer in, dark and light and then hone in on your subject,” she says.
As if living in Italy is not inspiration enough! Next to painting, Lisa, Dave and their two children have traveled as much and as often as possible throughout Europe and the Middle East. Inspired by a poster she saw in Ronda, Spain, Lisa created this painting of a bull and bullfighter.
She especially admires artists from the 1930’s and the work of the Italian masters seen at the Capodimonte Museum. Lisa’s other passions are cooking and wine! She has taken cooking classes in Tuscany with friends on multiple occasions and loves to share what she has learned.
Together we enjoyed many meals and glasses of exceptional Italian wine. I look forward to the return of family Deiranieh, when we will at least be on the same continent and in a slightly nearer timezone.
At present Lisa’s artwork is not for sale, but she is considering selling prints or giclées, a process of digitally scanning original paintings and printing them onto canvas. “I can’t sell them. I’m too attached to them,” Lisa says. “They’re my babies!”
I thank you for reading and wish you all the best of luck in discovering your own second acts!
Finding two of my most favorite things in one place, wine and art, I ventured out with my family to the Wine and Arts Festival in Sunderland, Maryland this past mother’s day weekend. The festival took place at All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Sunderland, Maryland.
For a $15 fee, I was able to buy a souvenir wine glass etched for the occasion and sample wines from eight local wineries. Luckily for me, I had a designated driver!
Bobbing along the Southern Maryland wine trail has long been on my list of things to do. This was even better, less travel involved on my part and I was able to stroll the artists booths with wine in hand.
The Wineries present were: Cove Point Winery, Friday’s Creek Winery, Perigeaux Vineyard & Winery, Port of Leonardtown Winery, Romano Vineyard & Winery, Running Hare Vineyard, Slack Winery and Solomon’s Island Winery.
Artists, and crafters, sold their creations along side of the vintner’s with lovely background music supplied by five local bands, featuring Big Band, Celtic, Blues and Jazz. This year marked the seventh annual festival organized by All Saints Episcopal Church. If you live in southern Maryland and you missed it, mark your calendar for next year. But fear not, the festival season has only just begun!
Among the arts and crafts available,a few of my favorites were: Artist Larry Ringgold who makes one of a kind driftwood art sculptures, available at http://www.turtlepointdriftwood.com
Another fave was the spectacular nature imagery by retired teacher, Suzanne Cassidy, from her many years of teaching science. Suzanne and her husband, William have transferred the photographs on to coasters, mouse pads, tile installations and more. Visit their site at: http://www.teacherswithcameras.com/ for their full story and to see where else you can find them this summer.
Just when I thought I had reached the pinnacle of fun, I discovered my third favorite thing…CHOCOLATE!